Request Tracker

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Request Tracker
Ticket list interface (RT 3.8)
Original author(s)Jesse Vincent
Developer(s)Best Practical Solutions, LLC
Initial release13 October 1999; 21 years ago (1999-10-13)
Stable release
5.0.0 / July 16, 2020; 10 months ago (2020-07-16)[1]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inPerl
Operating systemAny Unix-like
Available inMultiple Languages
TypeIssue tracking system

Request Tracker, commonly abbreviated to RT, is a ticket-tracking system written in Perl used to coordinate tasks and manage requests among a community of users. RT's first release in 1996 was written by Jesse Vincent, who later formed Best Practical Solutions LLC to distribute, develop, and support the package.[2] RT is open source (FOSS) and distributed under the GNU General Public License.[3]

Request Tracker for Incident Response (RTIR) is a special distribution of RT to fulfill the specific needs of CERT teams.[4] It was initially developed in cooperation with JANET-CERT, and in 2006 was upgraded and expanded with joint funding from nine Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) in Europe.[5]


RT is written in Perl and runs on the Apache and lighttpd web servers using mod_perl or FastCGI with data stored in either MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle or SQLite. It is possible to extend the RT interface using plug-ins written in Perl.[2]


Jesse Vincent, while enrolled at Wesleyan University in 1994, worked for Wesleyan's computing help desk and was responsible for improving the help desk and residential networking software infrastructure. This task included setting up a ticketing system for the help desk. Initially he set up a Linux server to run "req",[6] but later he identified that the command line interface was limiting usage. Over the next two years he created and maintained WebReq, a web based interface for req written in Perl. Eventually the req portions were removed and what was left became RT version 1.0. A complete rewrite occurred for RT version 2.0 when Jesse started to work on RT full-time in 2001 and founded Best Practical Solutions. RT was used by Perl's CPAN, but because of declining use, a sunset date of March 1, 2021 was announced at the Perl NOC on December 4, 2020. will sunset on March 1st, 2021.


An individual RT ticket in the version 3.8 web interface

RT has many interfaces for creating and updating tickets. A web interface is available for both logged in users and guest users. It is easily tailored by granting or denying specific permissions to users as well as by adding custom fields and data to tickets. Template callbacks allow the modification of the software's web pages without requiring extensive knowledge.

Email is another primary interface to RT and is often the only interface many guest users see. The email system includes support for auto-responses, attachments, and full customization of the rules which govern to whom and when email is sent. Emails are stored in RT as correspondence on a ticket, and the software can make a distinction between public replies and private comments to show them as appropriate.

A basic REST-like API and a command-line tool are also provided as another way to interact with RT.


  • RT integrates with Best Practical's knowledge base application, the RT FAQ Manager ("RTFM").[7] As of RT 4.0.0, RTFM's functionality was integrated into RT itself as Articles.
  • RT also integrates with Best Practical's IT asset management application, "Assets." As of RT 4.4.0, this functionality was integrated into RT itself.
  • RT supports the Networked Help Desk API.[8]

See also

  • Comparison of help desk issue tracking software
  • Comparison of issue tracking systems


  • "RT Essentials", O'Reilly, 2005, 224 pages ISBN 0-596-00668-3


  1. ^ "Releases - bestpractical/rt". Retrieved 16 July 2020 – via GitHub.
  2. ^ a b Rich, Amy (June 2003). "RT: Request Tracker, Part 1". Sun Microsystems. Archived from the original on 2009-11-15.
  3. ^ "RT FAQ: What is RT?". Retrieved 2015-08-10. Request Tracker (RT) [...] is available under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).
  4. ^ "RTIR: RT for Incident Response". Retrieved 2015-08-10. ready out of the box for your CERT or CSIRT to use
  6. ^ Evard, Rémy (September 1994). "Managing the Ever-Growing To Do List". USENIX. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  7. ^ "RTFM: The RT FAQ Manager". Archived from the original on 2015-09-06. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  8. ^ "GitHub - bestpractical/rt-extension-nhd". 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2016-05-06.

External links

Edited: 2021-06-18 14:29:57